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Questions tagged [attachment-ambiguity]

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what does a prepositional phrase that follows a that clause modify? [migrated]

Consider the following sentence: As secretary, you are to set a meeting agenda that includes discussions in concert with the boss. What word does the prepositional phrase "in concert with the ...
carolyn's user avatar
  • 19
5 votes
3 answers
517 views

Algebraic interpretation of ambiguous verbal expressions [closed]

I am helping my daughter with Algebra. She has been asked to generate algebraic expressions for each of the following verbal statements: "Five times the quantity of x squared plus m, minus two ...
k876's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
2 answers
117 views

"Four times a certain number decreased by one", 4(x-1) or 4x-1?

How does the English grammar precedence work if this is the case? Are both variation equally valid? My initial assumption is that the right answer should be "4(x-1)", and if the sentence had ...
Jason Brody's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
97 views

What is the subject of the verb following the comma?

This quote is from Gone with the Wind, where Scarlett met Rhett Butler at a function to collect for the Confederacy: Hot words bubbled to her lips and it was with difficulty that she checked them. ...
wowo878787's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

Interpretation of two phrases separated by ‘or’, followed by another phrase starting with ‘and’ [closed]

A sentence in the Indian Penal Code drafted in 1860 reads like this: Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine. Someone ...
Ramkay's user avatar
  • 77
0 votes
1 answer
136 views

The farther a number is from 0 on its right... does 'its' refer to the number or 0? [closed]

The farther a number is from 0 on its right, the _____ is its value. (Choose between larger and smaller). If 'its' refers to the subject number, then the correct answer is 'smaller'. If 'its' refers ...
Vinit.Ajgaonkar's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Does an adjective before "or" apply to the noun that comes after "or"? [duplicate]

Have you come across any frilly dresses or blouses? Does this mean [frilly dresses or frilly blouses], or does it mean [frilly dresses or blouses]? I want to know whether an adjective so placed only ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

How to remove attachment ambiguity?

I have the following sentence in my technical manual about naming files: Punctuation marks other than hyphens, spaces around punctuation marks that are replaced by underscores, and spaces between ...
user90726's user avatar
  • 555
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

How to use "or" and the adverb "as"?

The preface of the book, Physics and Music (Dover Publications), states: Almost everyone enjoys music, whether as a performer or as a listener. I was wondering if such a repetition of as is ...
Kedar Mhaswade's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
27k views

"I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith"

The 1964 Walt Disney film Mary Poppins features the following famous lines: Bert: I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith. Uncle Albert: What's the name of his other leg? It is a joke that ...
brainchild's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
61 views

Paradoxical participle [duplicate]

“I met a friend walking down the street.” Does it mean I was walking, or that my friend was walking, or both are possible?
Kevin's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
71 views

How to interpret the use of adverbs with conjugate clauses?

I wanted to clarify how an adverb (usually preceding) affects the clauses connected by a conjunction. Consider the dictionary meaning of the word oblique. The New Oxford Dictionary of American ...
Kedar Mhaswade's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

"in that way" - Which of the following three sentences is more correct to convey the desired meaning?

I'm not asking for a proof reading. And to further clarify, the Context is there to only provide context. I ask you to please ignore any perceived mistakes in the Context (located underneath the ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
  • 269
2 votes
2 answers
91 views

Who is lost in thought in "I had no glimmer of what was in his mind, nor did he enlighten me, but sat lost in thought..."? [closed]

I'd like someone to clear up the sentence that seems ambiguous to me. It's from "The problem of the Thor Bridge" by Conan Doyle. I had no glimmer of what was in his mind, nor did he enlighten me, ...
giraffe's user avatar
  • 727
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Five students visit three farmers in their village. their? [closed]

Five students visit three farmers in their village. Here, What do "their" refer to - students? or farmers?? and Why? and Why not?
grammarly's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Does "almost the first ten" mean "almost first" or "almost ten"?

If someone is talking "almost the first ten minutes" of something, should that be interpreted as being: ten minutes, almost at the beginning, or almost ten minutes, necessarily starting at the ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
98 views

Is this sentence from Andrew Carnegie ambiguous? [duplicate]

This is Carnegie's defense of competition: It is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. What is the function of the prepositional phrase "in every ...
apadana's user avatar
  • 455
3 votes
2 answers
163 views

What is a relative pronoun's referent when it follows a prepositional phrase?

For example: Stella Adler trained several generations of actors who include Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. Does who in this example refer to actors or generations? Stella Adler trained several ...
johnnyodonnell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
132 views

Misplaced Modifier

He kept a black book of all the girls he had dated in the past in his desk. Is "in his desk" a misplaced modifier, or is the sentence grammatically correct? Kindly elaborate.
Omar kamal's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
436 views

Relative pronoun, the use of comma, and subject verb agreement

Ex. There are many interesting stories attached to the drink, which exclusively belong to the brand only. Is above sentence correct? Or it should be Ex. There are many interesting stories attached ...
Simul Chowdhury's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

"a group of dancers who perform..." or "a group of dancers who performs..."?

The poet represents the daffodils as a group of dancers who (perform) a beautiful dance. Is it correct to write (perform) or I should write (performs).
Nadeen's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
4 answers
502 views

Grammaticality of "The victim was found by a passer-by with stab wounds"

I just heard a radio news report on a murder: "The victim was found by a passer-by with stab wounds". Surely this should read: "The victim, with stab wounds, was found by a passer-by"?
Braybuddy's user avatar
  • 432
1 vote
2 answers
146 views

Can my teachers be trainers or would I be taught by my shoes? [closed]

I am working in an educational organisation and we often co-operate with other institutions from other European countries, e.g. in EU-wide projects. Very often we have to write applications for ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
24 votes
11 answers
111k views

How can you lift an elephant with one hand? [duplicate]

Here is a question I've encountered: How can you lift an elephant with one hand? The answer provided is: It is not a problem, since you will never find an elephant with one hand. Now, if I ...
dumbPotato21's user avatar
31 votes
6 answers
7k views

Does "I am eating vegan cheese in my underpants" really imply that the vegan cheese is inside my underpants?

I am having a debate with someone about possible interpretations of a sentence and we have come to a stalemate. The sentence is as follows: "I'm at home eating vegan cheese in my underpants and ...
spectralbat's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
625 views

Antecedent of "naked" in "I would like to paint a picture of you naked"

You’re such a pretty person, I would like to paint a picture of you naked. Does this mean "you’ll undress while I get my brushes", or does it mean "strike a pose while I take my clothes off"?
RoDaSm's user avatar
  • 501
2 votes
4 answers
6k views

"Using" versus "with"

I find myself using these two constructions: I am digging a hole using a spade. and I am digging a hole with a spade. Which one is correct, or can they be used both?
2pietjuh2's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
2 answers
607 views

Is there a name for this ambiguity problem or for the construction that solves it?

I read a sentence, John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and law. The author meant John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and in academic journals ...
Hal's user avatar
  • 2,024
0 votes
1 answer
206 views

Word being modified by whose

I came across the following sentence: Kiran is Kishore's uncle, whose paternal grandfather has only two children. I am not clear which person whose is referring to - Kiran or Kishore and why?
Suy's user avatar
  • 73
14 votes
6 answers
2k views

What is the name of the ambiguity in the phrase "I want to visit clubs with attractive women"?

I want to visit clubs with attractive women. This phrase can be interpreted in two ways: I want to visit clubs myself, but the clubs I visit should have attractive women. I want to take ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
787 views

Position of adverbial phrase [duplicate]

Is there a difference in these two sentences, and if so, what is the difference? Immediately afterwards I remembered having met her. I remembered having met her immediately afterwards. I think there ...
YDAU's user avatar
  • 59
4 votes
2 answers
311 views

Is "Betty learned that Albert telephoned after Isaiah visited" ambiguous?

Betty learned that Albert telephoned after Isaiah visited. Can anybody explain whether "after Isaiah visited" tell us: (1) when Betty learned something about Albert or (2) when Albert ...
Elberich Schneider's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is funny in this paraprosdokian?

I was reading the wiki page about paraprosdokians when I come across this sentence. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my pajamas, I don't know. What is funny about it?
Martin's user avatar
  • 231